Saudi pumping 10m bpd crude: Al-Naimi
Tokyo, May 8, 2012
Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia is pumping at around 10 million barrels per day (bpd), Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi told reporters on a visit to Japan on Tuesday.
Saudi pumped 10 million bpd of oil last month, which was the highest level since November, when the kingdom produced more than it had done for decades.
Al-Naimi reiterated the kingdom stood ready to tap into its spare capacity of 2.5 million barrels per day if more crude was needed. The country had storage capacity of about 80 million barrels, which is full, and is ready to meet any sudden need for an increase in supply, he added.
"In addition to our spare capacity of 2.5 million barrels per day, we have on the ground, in tanks and in pipelines about 80 million barrels of inventory, these are working inventory," he said.
Meanwhile, Japan's Trade Minister Yukio Edano said he would ask for Saudi Arabia's continued support to help Japan secure a stable oil supply when he meets with Al-Naimi later in the day.
"In general, Saudi Arabia has provided the greatest cooperation over many years in regards to a stable crude oil supply. I want to thank him for that and ask for continued cooperation," Edano told a news conference.
Japan has cut its crude imports from Iran amid tighter Western sanctions aimed at limiting Tehran's nuclear programme.
Edano also said that Japan is in touch with the European Union on insurance coverage for Iranian oil shipments. The EU's restrictions on Iran are due to take effect in July.
The Trade Minister, who holds the energy portfolio, also said that power supply outlook for this summer in Japan's western region of Kansai looks tough but repeated that he hoped to avoid issuing a mandatory power restricution order. - Reuters